I was gonna call this a "Craft" page, but the truth its, most of my crafting involves needle and thread.  I like simple, easy, short projects that don't involve a lot of attention to detail and perfection.  I prefer not to work with patterns, but, from time to time, I will.  My projects are spur-of-the moment ideas that I try to realize without much forethought or patience.  Therefore, there will be LOTS of mistakes, uneven lines, and very little concern.  If this is what you're interested in, then read on...

#2 How To Sew a Button
I know this seems like a very elementary thing to post a tutorial on, but I have seen it done the right way, and I have seen it done the wrong way.  I hope this helps anyone who isn't sure which way they are doing it.
1. Find a button.  If you're lucky enough to have the original button that came loose, great.  It has been my experience, however, that when buttons fall off, they make their way into the abyss of lost articles where they dwell with mismatched socks and solitary mittens.  Try to find a new button that is more or less the same color and size as the original.  Slightly smaller is okay, but slightly larger generally doesn't work.

2.  Position the button in its proper place.  There may be a tell-tale loose thread to help guide you to the correct placement.

Be sure to remove it before you begin sewing.

3.  Start by inserting the needle through the back of the fabric into one of the button holes.  Be sure to hold the button firmly in place.

This will ensure a nice clean look without any pesky knots to look at when you're finished.  Pull the thread all the way through.

4.  Insert the needle in the button hole that is diagonal to the one you first pulled the thread through.  (This only applies if you are using a 4-hole button.  If you are using a 2-hole button you would just insert through the other hole.  If it were a no-hole button, you would just thread continuously through the loop in the back of the button.) Pull the thread all the way through the fabric until it is tightly gripping the button.

5.  Bring the needle through the back of the fabric so that it comes through the hole directly above the hole you previously led it through.

Make sure that the thread is taut and there is no slack either in front or back.  Loose buttons are lost buttons.  I just made that up. 

6.  Bring the needle through the hole that is diagonal to the one you just pulled it through, making a 'X' pattern with the thread.

7.  Repeat this process three or four times until you are satisfied that the button is properly secured.  Be sure to follow the same pattern in doing so.
8.  End with the thread being pulled through the back of the fabric.

Tie a knot by gently pulling the needle through the thread lines that you used to secure the button
until it forms a small loop
and pull the needle through the loop.

I like to do this at least twice to ensure that the knot is tight and secure.

9.  Cut the loose threads and check to see that the button is aligned properly by fastening it.
Viola!!!  Now your daughter can wear her dress for two more months before she grows out of it!

#1 Child's Gardening Apron/Tool Belt

I like to get my kids involved in gardening, so I thought that if I made them their own gardening aprons then they might just use wearing them as an excuse to get involved.  Let's cross our fingers that it works, okay?

I'm making three today - two for my girls and one for my nephew who's been spending a lot of time with us lately. 

1.  Cut two pieces of fabric - the first should be about 12 in x 10 in, the second is 12 in x 8 in.

2.  Using the larger piece, sew a hem about 1/8 inch wide along the sides, leaving one long side unhemmed.

3.  Along the unhemmed side, make a fold wide enough to fit a ribbon through.  The ribbon is the apron tie.  I used 7/8 inch ribbon so I made a 1 1/8 inch loop.  One inch to fit the ribbon through with a little wiggle room and also 1/8 seam allowance.

You'll end up with a loop like this.

4.  Put this piece to the side and retrieve the smaller piece of fabric.  Hem the edges the same way as you did in step two.
5.  Fold the unhemmed edge over again, about an inch or so.

But, this time, sew the loop closed,

and continue to sew along the edge of the unfinished side.  When you put the pieces together, they'll look like this:

Notice the one on bottom has an open loop for the apron ties and the one on top is sewed closed.

6.  Now sew the two pieces together along the edges leaving a "pocket."

7.  Sew a line through both layers creating a division in the big pocket.  This will give you two pockets.

You can divide the pockets into two evenly sized pockets, or make three pockets, or whatever you like.  I decided to create a small pocket and a big pocket by sewing a line about 1/3 the length of the apron.  I thought having two different sized pockets would be more interesting for my  kids.

It had nothing to do with the fact that I hadn't ironed my fabric before I started sewing and there was a nifty crease on the pocket to act as a guideline.

Total coincidence.  Promise.

8.  Cut a ribbon to whatever length you like, as long as it will be long enough to tie around a child's waist.  One yard would be plenty long.  In order to keep the edges of the ribbon from fraying, I like to burn them.  Take your ribbon over to a flame (stove top, candle, match, lighter, etc.) and quickly drag the edge of the ribbon through the flame.

Now insert the ribbon through the loop in the apron.  I like to use a pen to help.

Pull the end of the ribbon out of the loop and remove the pen.  Straighten out your fabric.

Julia was more than happy to volunteer to model her new apron.  She's not a ham or anything.  And, no, I wouldn't normally allow her to carry scissors in her apron.  Its just that I needed something of a specific size to fit in the pocket (so you could see where it was) and they were close by. 


Here's another one I made.

Please marvel at the uneven edges, terrible cutting job, and strict lack of concern. 

Its what I do. 

 I made three of these aprons in an afternoon and I would bet that I didn't spend more than fifteen minutes total on any of them.  But that's probably obvious.